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U.K. CRACKS DOWN ON TICKET BOTS

The British Government is finally cracking down on the £1b secondary ticketing market after years of lobbying and high profile case studies. The use of computer software—"bots"—to buy a large amount of tickets to then be resold on the secondary market has been criminalised. Those who break the law will face unlimited fines.

The Government has accepted the recommendations outlined in a report from economist Professor Mike Waterson:  tighter scrutiny of how ticketing services operate; greater transparency throughout the industry; and that online vendors undertake more steps to identify touts and take tougher enforcement action.

In addition, National Trading Standards has been given a pot of cash to help fund anti-secondary ticketing efforts, and there’s renewed pressure on Get Me In!, Seatwave, StubHub and Viagogo to identify ticket touts and differentiate those sellers from ordinary fans (a rule that was included within the Consumer Rights Act 2015 but which evidence suggests hasn’t been followed so far).

FanFair Alliance—an organisation that managers Modest!’s Harry Magee, Wildlife Entertainment CEO Ian McAndrew and ATC’s Brian Message founded to take a stand against industrial-scale online ticket touting—welcomed the new measures.

"For too long now, the practices of the secondary ticketing platforms have enabled online touts to thrive and generate huge profits at the expense of fans," they said.

"A crackdown on the misuse of bot technology to bulk-buy tickets will be hugely important in helping clean up this market, but of equal significance is government's blanket acceptance of recommendations in the Waterson Review which, if implemented, should lead to greater transparency.”

 

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